March Meeting: Birds of Cuba

Glyn Hudson from Rotherham was our guest speaker at the  March 12th meeting. His talk was about the birds of Cuba, an island that he has visited several times, attracted by the wonderful birdlife and the cheerful laid back attitude of its friendly people, despite being ruled over by a communist regime. Cuba boasts a variety of landscapes and habitats, including the huge Zapata swamp with its 3,000 Cuban crocodiles and huge numbers of Caribbean flamingos.

Glyn showed us a range of excellent images of the 21 endemic species on Cuba, including the Zapata Sparrow and Bee Hummingbird, reputedly the smallest bird in the world at just 5-6cm in length. The Cuban trogon is the national bird of the island; with its red, white and blue feathers that correspond to the colours of the Cuban flag. Many of the very colourful North American warblers migrate through the island to their wintering grounds in South America or stay to breed on the island where Glyn had the opportunity to take some superb shots of the aptly named yellow warbler, hooded warbler and black and white warbler. An interesting talk appreciated by everyone present.

 Recent sightings in March:  The grim weather has clearly delayed the arrival of spring migrants, but the long-staying smew and long-tailed duck are still with us on local waters. Several flocks of common scoter have been moving through the area with 23 on Pugneys lake on the 18th.  and  2 black-tailed godwit and 2 avocet also. At Anglers, 6 whooper swans dropped in briefly on 22nd and 12 buzzards have been counted in the air. A barn owl has been regularly at Wintersett village.

Eddie Andrassy

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